Boys soccer: Athletic squad plans to run past opponents

Spring sports preview: Boys soccer

Head coach: Dave Brasher (22nd year)

2016 finish: 11-6-0 (8-4-0, tied for second in Olympic League); 0-1 in district playoffs

Top returning players: Liam Harris (jr.), Konner Parrish (sr.), Patrick McCrorie (sr.), Josiah Urquia (jr.), Mathew Craig (jr.), Evan James (jr.), Nick Janikic (jr.), Robert Beeson (sr.), Addie Berg (jr.)

Newcomers: Brandon Benson (so.), Rudy Franco (so.), Adrian Funston (fr.), Josh Gonzalez (sr.), Christian Goodrich (sr.), Brendon Jack (so.), Michael McAleer (fr.), Chris Morgan (so.), Ian Parker (so.), Christian Rocha (sr.), Sean Weber (so.)

Key league competition: Kingston, North Kitsap, Port Angeles

An uptempo game won’t be a problem for Sequim’s boys soccer squad this season, says head coach Dave Brasher.

“We have a lot of athletic and skilled guys,” he said.

How that meshes for another run at districts depends on building on the successes of players like all-Olympic League first team midfielder Liam Harris, who led the team with 11 goals and seven assists.

Graduated though are top-tier players like all-league second team forward Cameron Chase and Thomas Winfield who both knocked in seven goals along with all-league second team defender J.T. McElhose.

Also gone is all-league first team goalkeeper Austin Wagner, who posted six shutouts last season. In his place is a new platoon, Brasher said, of junior Nick Janikic and freshman Navy Thomas-Brenske.

“We’re starting all new there, so we’ll see what we get,” Brasher said.

Along with McElhose and Wagner, Sequim defender Christian Benson graduated, leaving Brasher with options of moving in seniors Christian Goodrich and Josh Gonzalez, moving players to new positions and/or going young.

His hope is that with a new core of defenders, they can gel in the coming years.

However, stopping an offensive attack may be one problem for the Wolves, pushing forward with their own may not be.

Brasher said the scoring load will fall on Harris, Josiah Urquia, who scored seven goals and served six assists, Konner Parrish, four goals, three assists, and Patrick McCrorie.

The Wolves are eyeing a top four playoff spot, Brasher said, with big goals in the Olympic League — beat rival Port Angeles and defeat Kingston, which Sequim last defeated 1-0 on April 15, 2014, in Sequim.

Last season, the Wolves lost four of their first six games before going on a late-season tear, winning nine of their final 10 games — the final four games by shutout.

But Sequim ran into a tough Foster team, who bounced Sequim from the postseason 3-1 in the West Central District playoffs. It was Sequim’s third consecutive one-and-done outing at districts.

“We want to get the right playoff seed so we can get past it,” Brasher said.

The Wolves opened the season at home against Olympic on Tuesday, March 14, and hosts Fife on Thursday, March 16, for its home opener.

Dave Brasher continues as Sequim’s boys soccer coach for the 22nd season and says his team’s athleticism should help them win close games and keep everything uptempo. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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